The subject of vaccinating is one that always causes a lot of conversation in the parenting community. We often hear about anti-vaxxers and how their choices to not vaccinate their children are effecting herd immunities and how some schools are even experiencing outbreaks of preventable viruses such as chicken pox. While we often hear about the immediate effects of not vaccinating a child, such as virus outbreaks, we rarely hear from the children about how not being vaccinated affected them as they grew in to adulthood.
Recently one woman who was denied vaccinations by her parents when she was a child spoke out against their anti-vaxx beliefs when she posted her full immunization records on Reddit. The woman who was identified by Inverse as being in her mid 20’s kicked off the new year by getting a full round of vaccinations now that she is an adult and in charge of her own health and welfare. The poster, who goes by Reddit username ToddmanHorseboy, posted on the social site a picture of her most recent vaccinations. “My parents denied me vaccinations as a child,” she wrote.
“Today, I was finally able to take my health into my own hands!” Her brand new immunization form showed that she recently received the Hepatitis A and B, Meningitis, DTaP, MMR, chicken pox, and HPV vaccines. When asked by one commenter how she was feeling after so many needles, she responded that her muscles were hurting a bit and that her spine was the worst, and that she also felt like she kind of had the flu.
The woman’s post quickly went viral, with over 175 thousand upvotes and more than five thousand comments. In a follow up AMA (Ask Me Anything) post she did on Reddit, she stated that religion was one of the reasons her parents chose to vaccinate, but that wasn't the only reason. 'They read about the autism thing and didn't trust vaccines after that," she wrote when asked why her parents were so against vaccinating their children. Even though her brother had whooping cough as a child, she has over 30 allergies and has had the flu every year, her parents still refused to vaccinate her.
"I actually would like to start a family soon, and I don't want the kids or myself to be compromised by carrying any diseases," the poster replied when asked what finally made her decide to begin her vaccinations. "This is something I have wanted to do since I realized how abnormal/unhealthy/unsafe it was, but I was afraid because of my allergies developing so rapidly as a young adult. Starting a family was the last push to get me to do it."
While many in the Redditor community were supportive of the poster, providing words of encouragement and asking many questions, there were naturally many who accused her of promoting 'Big Pharma' and putting her health and safety at risk. While the hateful comments have resulted in her wanting to keep her real identity a secret, she told Inverse that she doesn't think her decision will impact her relationship with her own mother. "I feel good about the independence. It doesn’t seem like it will damage our relationship, she knows I get to make this choice myself now. I am thankful for that,” she says. “I think my parents were doing what they thought was best for us.” She also states that since her post, many other people who are in a similar situation have come forward and she's hopeful that her post will give them a bit of encouragement and guidance.
“I just want those people to know it is not as scary as I thought it would be,” she says. “Talking to my doctor was the first step.”